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Online Debate Whips

Debate Whips support the Debate Chair in creating a balanced, lively and smoothly run debate.

If you are considering being part of the dynamic Debate Team, and like to help people feel welcome, engaged and comfortable in speaking out during debates, a Whip position may be right for you. Whips identify and interact with potential speakers and answer questions from participants. Their direct communications with attendees have a profound effect on how participants view the debate experience, their willingness to take risks in speaking or asking questions, and their ability to feel engaged in the debate even if they don’t speak.

This training is designed to teach Whips what to anticipate in the Zoom environment and how to interact with participants through the technology.


Get Started

Step 1

Enroll in Online Debate Whip Training

To begin on your path as an Online Debate Whip, please complete the enrollment form.

Step 2

Review The Training Materials

Once you have enrolled in training, you will receive an email containing a few key materials for your review. Take a look at these training guides to familiarize yourself with the Online Debate Whip role.

Step 3

Attend an Orientation Meeting

Once you have had a chance to review the materials in the previous step, return to your enrollment email to register for an orientation session with an experienced debate team member. This will be a time to ask any questions you might have after watching the video and reading the materials.

If you feel you would benefit from the experience, you can shadow a whip during a live debate. Please request this during your orientation meeting.

Step 4

Try It Out

Shadow an experienced whip OR try out your new role under their guidance! You will discuss which of these options is best for you during your orientation meeting.


It can be helpful to have experience using Zoom, but it is not required! A lot of the learning happens on the job, with a full support team to back you. All are welcome!

This training will prepare you to be a Whip for online debates. Online debates benefit from staff who communicate with participants via Zoom chat and update tracking documents for the Chair. As an online Whip, you will communicate with the rest of the event staff behind the scenes to ensure everything goes smoothly and as many voices as possible will be heard. 

Not all in person debates use Whips and they are not required. Often Debate Chairs in training can benefit from whipping at in person debates. If you have questions or concerns about staffing your in person debate please reach out to

No expertise in the debate topic is required to be a Debate Whip! In fact, it is a great way to learn more!

Whips are more than welcome to make speeches and ask questions during debates! You may find it difficult to pay attention to this at first, as you will be monitoring the chat and other back channel communication during the debate. As you get more comfortable in the role, you may want to contribute to the discourse.

Please email the Debate Volunteer Team at if you have further questions about Whip Training.

Braver Angels Support